Speech fallout: ‘I’ll have a go next time I see him’
BOB Katter says he's sorry some Muslims in his north Queensland electorate feel betrayed by his support for a ban on Muslim immigration.
Cane farmer Abdul Ghani Mohammed says he'll have a go at Mr Katter, who he considered a friend, for praising Katter's Australian Party Senator Fraser Anning's controversial maiden speech calling for the ban.
Mr Mohammed says he wants to know who the real Bob Katter is after the party leader recently helped the Muslim community argue for a visa extension for a Cairns Imam.
"I could not believe that Bob was saying it," Mr Mohammed has told the ABC.
"How can he say what he said? I'd like to talk to Bob about that. See what he's got to say. Ask him is that the real Bob or not, or is he just saying it because this bloke is new in his party and he's got to stand up for him.
"I'll have a go at him next time I see him."
Mr Katter said he was sorry some voters felt hurt by his stance on Muslim immigration.
"I don't think Fraser, in a million years, would say a word against good Australians and they are all good Australians," he told the ABC.
"But we've got to protect ourselves. Surely someone should be talking about our immigration policy that is bankrupting us and drowning our values."
Mr Katter said he was happy to write a letter to help the Imam remain in Cairns longer, and he'd do it again.
"Don't ever call them Muslims, these are Australians. They happen to have a religion and it's their business, nobody else's," he said.
"They said this bloke is preaching the gospel of peace and we need him to stay here." Benjamin Murat is another farmer in Mr Katter's electorate and is also the Imam of a mosque at Mareeba, west of Cairns.
"These sorts of thoughts and comments regarding Muslims have never come out with Bob. He's been helpful and supportive, so I just don't understand what's happened for this to all have changed," he said.